Monday, July 23, 2012

Art of the Handgun

For the past month and a half I have been studying the above titled work which is a beautifully produced book.  The "Forward" was penned by Roy Huntington, editor of American Handgunner magazine and I have never seen his prose so eloquent as when he described this book and introduced the authors.  Clearly he feels the same way about this book as I do. 

The copy of Art of the Handgun that I received is an advanced copy as it has not yet been published.  It is available as an ebook and I will provide information at the end of the review on how you can order a copy.

The Quick Review

Way back when I was in college, in the days of typewriters, digital watches, and disco, one of my professors told me that in preparing a critical review you needed to answer the following three questions:

  1. What were they trying to do?
  2. Did they do it?
  3. Was it worth doing?

Let me answer the first question:
Dr. Darom and Joseph Yekutiel set out to produce a comprehensive guide that educates the reader on proper handgun handling principles and correct shooting techniques which, if followed, can take the shooter from beginning to advanced levels of proficiency.  

The answers to questions 2 and 3 are "Yes" and "Absolutely". Every week I see shooters at the range who could greatly benefit from a brief study of the information  contained in Art of the Handgun.

Who Are The Authors?

Dr. David Darom holds a PhD in Marine Biology and is a leading wildlife photographer.  He has published 21 books on the wildlife of the land and sea, custom handmade knives, and handguns.  In 2007 he retired as the Head of the Department of Scientific Photography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Joseph (Kuti) Yekutiel was a Major serving with the Paratroopers of the Israeli Defense Forces before joining the Israeli Police Department where he retired as their Chief Superintendent of Marksmanship and small arms fighting techniques.  He has collaborated with Dr. Darmon on other books related to firearms and marksmanship.  

There is no doubt that these men have the knowledge, skills, and experience to fulfill their mission as stated in the Preface to Art of the Handgun.

The Basics

Shooter safety is paramount in Art of the Handgun.  It is covered at the beginning of the book and reviewed in various sections were appropriate.

The five chapters in the first sections of the book, entitled "The Basics" explain everything a new shooter should know about handling their revolver or pistol.  The information is presented in a very clear and concise fashion.  Dr. Darom and Mr. Yekutiel make their points quickly and do not oversell them as is the case with so many authors. The Basics section of the book includes, but is not limited to, topics covering different handgun actions, modern handgun components, handgun materials and finishes, different operating systems of both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, how to grip the revolver or pistol, different shooting stances, how to aim, field stripping and cleaning, and basic shooting exercises.

Art of the Handgun also covers topics that were never discussed in the handgun classes I attended earlier in my career.  The emphasis in those classes were stance and aiming.  It was a long time before someone taught me the importance  of the trigger pull.  But it is covered in Art of the Handgun. (Clicking on any image will enlarge the photo)

One of the things I was very happy to see illustrated in the book is the correct way to unload and reload a revolver.  Even in the days when revolvers were the most common handguns sold many shooters did not know the proper way to handle their revolver during this process.  In the current era of the semi-automatic pistol the unloading and recharging of a revolver is almost a lost art.

Handgun Spectacle

One of the first thing you will notice are the photographs.  The authors were allowed to include a few full color images of exquisite handguns that were handcrafted by premier gunsmiths and photographed by world renown photographer Ichiro Nagata in the second section of the book entitled "Handgun Spectacle".  

As seen below, the black and white photographs and illustrations that demonstrate techniques or exemplify handgun features are the sharpest, most well defined images I have seen in any firearms related book.

Advanced Shooting

The third section of the book, Advanced Shooting, covers the different aspects of drawing and firing, advanced tactics, how to move and shoot, and principles of ballistics.
There is much more to Art of the Handgun than I have the ability to share with you in the course of a brief review.  It is filled information that you will be hard pressed to find in one publication.  The sections on Handgun Ammunition, Terminal Ballistics, Recoil, and many other chapters will help me provide informative answers to questions posed by my readers.  As such, this book will not be gathering dust on my bookshelf as it has already found a permanent home on my desk where it serves as a very valuable reference.  For this reason Average Joe rates Art of the Handgun as a "Must Have" for anyone who likes to read about handguns and for shooters at any level.

For the publishers out there Art of the Handgun needs to be published.  The shooting community will benefit from its vast array of information and the color photography (which unfortunately I cannot show) is simply stunning.  Electronic books are great for novels but the photography in Art of the Handgun begs to be printed on quality paper.

For those of you who want to purchase the electronic version of Art of the Handgun you can order a copy through Amazon, where is it currently priced at $9.99, by clicking on this link:

You might be able to find a hardbound copy at:

The book is listed as a special limited edition so don't be surprised if it sold out when you try to order.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For some reason this book has never made it to Amazon in hardback as of 9/18/13.

Matt L. DeTectre